Dr. Brewer is a labor economist specializing in the economics of education and education policy. Before joining USC in 2005 he was a Vice President at RAND Corp., directing RAND’s education policy research program for more than five years. Dr. Brewer has overseen major projects focusing on educational productivity and teacher issues in both K-12 and higher education, and published more than 50 academic economics and education journal articles, book chapters and monographs.
His publications include a book on competition in higher education, In Pursuit of Prestige, and multiple articles in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, and others. His work on class size includes a review of the research literature published in Scientific American and a report for the U.S. Congress on the costs of class size reduction under different policy designs.
He co-led the state-sponsored evaluation of California’s charter schools (Charter School Operations and Performance: Evidence from California, 2003), and is one of the authors of Rhetoric Versus Reality: What We Know and What We Need to Know About Vouchers and Charter Schools (2001). Dr. Brewer most recently spearheaded RAND’s effort to assist in major K-12 reform in the State of Qatar, the centerpiece of which is a system of charter-like government funded schools; a book detailing this effort, Education for a New Era, was published in 2007.
Dr. Brewer is currently a co-editor of the economics section of the International Encyclopedia Education.
Dr. Brewer holds a BA in Philosophy Politics, and Economics from Oxford, a Masters in Economics from Wisconsin and a PhD in Labor Economics from Cornell. He has been an adjunct Professor of Economics at UCLA and a Professor of Policy at the RAND Graduate School. He was an associate editor of Economics of Education Review and is a frequent reviewer for IES, NCES, NSF and foundations. He has served in a number of service appointments in AERA including Division L Program Chair (2007). He holds courtesy appointments in the School of Policy Planning and Development, and in the USC College Department of Economics.